Trying to recreate our caketopper

The offbeat bride: Kim, healthcare administrator (and Tribe member)

Her offbeat partner: Bix, architect

Location & date of wedding: San Pedro Chapel, Tucson AZ — October 28, 2010

What made our wedding offbeat: We got married on a Thursday evening by a friend (who is a member of our weekly wine tasting group more commonly known as the S.H.I.T.s or So Happy It's Thursday) who got ordained especially to marry us. The ceremony had no religious references and we wrote it ourselves and included vows promising to provide adequate bookshelf (I'm a voracious reader) and vinyl (he's a serious music collector) space. We also promised until death or vine-rot do us part, which referenced our love of wine and the fact that we met at the wine tasting.Me and my maids of awesomeness

I wore a turquoise silk tea length dress with black lace, and my maids of awesomeness wore unmatching black dresses and shoes. We carried books that I had wrapped in ribbons, flowers, and Catrina ornaments. Bix and the groom's guys all wore unmatching suits with custom Dia de los Muertos silk ties and sparkly luchador bouts we made.

My reception shoes (SQUEE)There were no fresh flowers –- all the flowers were handmade by me with help from Bix and my maids. We had crepe paper roses for the chapel altar in talavera vases. The chapel entrance was festooned with hand-colored tissue paper carnations strung on a turquoise ribbon, and the dancing ramada was hung with giant, Mexican, tissue-paper, fiesta flowers and fairy lights.

We registered at only two places — Cata Vinos (the place where we met) for wine and Bohemia for art. We wanted to support our friends' businesses and keep as much of our wedding money locally as we could. And boy, did we get the wine and art! Yeah for friends who follow instructions!

The Luchador BoutsWe walked into the intro to “India” by Roxy Music and out to “I Feel Good” by James Brown. I walked myself down the aisle with Bix meeting me half way.

We had no bouquet toss, no garter toss, and no family dances. We had two first dances, because they were both important songs to us and had seven wedding cakes. The only traditional element was the fact that we did indeed get married!

Bix escorting me to the front of the chapel before the ceremony begins

Ushers reporting for dutyTell us about the ceremony: We actually wrote most of the ceremony via email to each other — even though we live together. One of us would find a reading we liked or a quote and would email it to the other. I pasted them into a master document and then manipulated all the bits and pieces and would email the draft to Bix. He would make his edits and changes and pass it back. It was difficult to find things that addressed more mature love (no puppy dogs and unicorns and rainbows for us) without sounding too dreary — it is a wedding after all. Our officiant did the final touches and added some levity.

Ring exchange

Getting ready to start.  Custom papel picado and pew bows by MomBix can be really emotional and we both figured that the two of us would have a difficult time holding it together during our vows. Amazingly, once we got up there, Bix looked at me and held my gaze for the entire ceremony. He was my steadying influence. I had to stop and ask him for a tissue, but he was solid. Later, he told me that he just knew that he was meant to be there in that place at that time, making his vows to me and it was so right. It was as if we were in our own private world, and it is one of my most cherished memories.

Just Married!

The Rememberance AltarOur biggest challenge: Bix's mom was diagnosed with stage IV cancer two months before the wedding and passed away three weeks after the diagnosis. Before she passed away, she had written a song for us that she wanted sung at the wedding. At the time she gave it to us, it was no problem, but after she was gone it became an emotional minefield.

Bix didn't want to be standing in front of ninety people when his mom's song came on. It wasn't really a reception song and we didn't want to play it pre-ceremony, because it deserved more honor than that. We decided to play it after we finished our toasts and before we started dinner.

The awesome Tryst playing the song Bix's mom wrote for usBix's sister gave a toast to her mom and introduced the song. Our musicians, the incredible Keli and Taylor of The Tryst, did a special arrangement of the song (“Trystified” as they called it.) Miraculously, they were able to give what was written as a hymn an upbeat “Tryst Twist” and it was fantastic and a fitting tribute to a great woman.

Bix & Kim pre-ceremony

The Ox Brothers ReduxMy favorite moment: Bix and I changed at home and drove ourselves to the wedding site. We were running late and I was helping him with his shirt collar and tie and he was helping me get my jewelry fastened and everything was a bit of a rush. On the drive to the wedding site, Bix grabbed my hand and told me that although he had seen me look extremely beautiful on other occasions, I had never looked more beautiful and more radiant than I did at that moment. We both teared up. It was really the first time in a few days that we really had a quiet moment to ourselves, and once we were dressed and heading to the chapel, we finally realized that this day was here and happening.

Skull journals with ribbon, flowers & Catrina ornaments

Sugar skull tealights for the reception tablesMy advice for offbeat brides: Try not to get overwhelmed. We only had four and a half months from engagement to wedding with some serious unexpected family issues to deal with in the middle. I finally had to breakdown my lists into what absolutely had to get done for the wedding to happen (get the marriage license and officiant!), what were the things that were most important for us to have (writing a personal and meaningful ceremony and having great wine and music), and what could be left out if we ran out of time (who cares about a fancy schmancy wedding cake — we had pan dulce and seven Italian cream cakes). We made it through the first two lists and actually got through most of the third and everything turned out beautifully.

One big happy goofy family

Our custom topper with us and our 2 dogsHave you been married before and if so, what did you do differently? I've been married before, but Bix has not. My first marriage was when I was in my twenties and I was more concerned about how things looked than how things felt. This time it was extremely important to us that we be able to convey to our guests the right atmosphere — the right vibe about who we were as a couple.

Every decision about the wedding was made with “does this have the right feel to it” rather than “does this have the right look to it.” And everyone totally got it and got us. The most overheard comment all evening was “This wedding is so completely the two of you.”

Our first dance to "At Last" - and then our second first dance to "Dance Me to the End of Love"

My ceremony shoesWhat was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? We faced a number of really stressful situations, totally unrelated to the wedding planning process, during our short planning time. I had a few major (and a lot of minor) meltdowns and it made me realize how completely accepting Bix is of me and all my nit-picking, stressed out, irrational, crazy woman ways. And we got through it and had an amazing wedding and an even stronger relationship because of it.

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Comments on Kim & Bix’s Dia de los Muertos, elegant, fiesta wedding

  1. I’ve been waiting to see this profile since I saw the pictures on the tribe.

    The write up is beautiful and really makes me want to cry!

    • Thanks! We had our share of adversity during the planning process. You and the rest of the Tribe were a great source of support for me.

  2. I love her dress, and how they carried books instead of flowers. Most of all though I love how sweet and loving and personal this wedding was. A real pleasure to read about.

    • I love to read so books were a perfect choice. I actually carried an old copy of Little Women that belonged to my Grandmother (who has passed on). It was nice to carry a piece of her with me.

  3. I’m so glad to see this wedding featured here. Kim is by far one of the sweetest ladies I’ve had the pleasure of meeting through the OBT. Yay for Kim & Bix! If you guys have a surplus of wine on hand you can send some my way! 😉

  4. I’m so glad to see this wedding featured! Kim is by far one of the sweetest ladies I’ve had the pleasure of meeting through the OBT. Yay for Kim & Bix!

    P.S. If you find yourselves with a surplus of wine, feel free to send some my way 😉

    • Thanks Sara! Can’t wait to see you in your custom dress by Femia too. And boy, do we ever have wine – between the leftovers from the reception, the gifts, and all the gift certificates we are awash in wine. Good thing it gets better with age!

  5. I love the colors and the vibe of your wedding. I can see from the pictures how much in love the two of you are. Congratulations!

  6. Can I be your friend? 🙂 That wedding was simply beautiful and stunning! I loved all the Dia de los Muertos details. The shoes!!

  7. I absolutely loved every single detail of your wedding! The black flats, the teal heels, the ushers, the cake topper……brain is in overload!

  8. Absolutely gorgeous! The blue sky is the perfect backdrop to pull in all the blue details.

  9. Beautiful wedding!! I love how you added skulls with bright colors. Your dress is adorable, love how you had matching “shawls” for your bridesmaid. I got a kick out of a picture of people gathering around the cakes and notice that one young girl is holding a cake and had a knife in the cake,it looked like she is stabbing the cake.. funny. I wondered if anyone notice if it looks that way. Great pictures, lovely colors and love the area you picked for your wedding. Looks like out in the middle of no where… congrats to you!!

    • The knife stabbing girl is actually one of my student workers (I hired a few of the University students to act as runners for the reception). I thought the same thing when I saw the picture — dang she’s about to murder that cake!

  10. Wow, your description of getting ready and driving there has got me all misty!

  11. I love the paper flowers! We are also doing paper flowers for our wedding and it’s great to see how beautiful yours look!

    • I’m not particularly crafty and thought those flowers were going to be the death of me. The Tribe talked me down off the ledge more than a few times! I was pleased with how they turned out and could not have done it without the advice and help from the Tribe — not to mention the cheering squad from the DIY queens!

  12. Yay! I was so in love with this wedding when I saw it on the Tribe, I’m really happy to see it here. Everything was so, so, SO lovely!

  13. What a beautiful, touching tale; isn’t it wonderful, that moment when one finally realises that “this is actually happening”? Congratulations to you both for having a wedding that truly represents who you are.

    And books for the Maids of Awesome to carry! Books! That’s my plan, too – lovely to see it put into action.

  14. Kim is totally awesome and her wedding was fantabulous. Pulling it together through all the adversity and injury and loss and making it this awesome is just a testament to your strength, woman! That, and your fantastic partner. Congratulations again to the both of you. You rock!

  15. the picture of you two looking at each other while dancing is wonderful. you look so happy and in love. congratulations!

  16. Everything about this is so great. That beautiful teal color, the references to bookshelves and vinyl…love it! And yea for titanium wedding bands for girls, as well as guys! My husband an I used the company, Titanium Knights, and could not have been happier with our rings! Grats to you both!

    • Titanium Knights – a fabulous vendor – they were awesome to work with and we love our rings! I couldn’t have done this wedding without Etsy!

  17. Yay Tucson wedding! Yay The Tryst! Yay Bohemia! Registering at Bohemia is sheer genius. I’ll have to keep that one in my pocket to run past Tana when the time comes.

    This is a beautiful wedding. It makes my Tucson heart happy.

    • Yep – I love Bohemia. We already collect Wil Taylor and Liz Vaughn (which we got even more of their work). Tana knows our taste and was able to point people in the right direction (Yeah Mel Dominguez,Luon St Pierre) or gift certificates. It was so much fun!

      And for some more Tucson awesomeness. Fajita bar at the reception by Micha’s. Italian cream cakes from Viro’s. Pan dulce from La Estrella. Tons of the decorations came from Rustica in the Lost Barrio and Borderlands (off 4th Avenue).

      • I was just bugging Tana about it on Facebook. Sounds like she thought it was pretty fun too!

        Wil Taylor does beautiful work. I’m a big fan of Miles Thompson’s gargoyles– my sweetie even more so. And, he gave me a Courtney Kelly painting from Bohemia for Christmas. Yes, I’m definitely hatching a plan as we speak… 🙂

        It looks like you had a beautiful, very Tucson in all the best ways wedding. I’m thrilled that I got to see a bit of it!

        Congratulations to both of you, and very nicely done.

        • We’ve had our eye on one of Courtney’s paintings as well (I don’t have any of her work yet although we gave one of her pieces to Bix’s brother and sister in law for their first anniversary). We still have gift certificates to use so it’s in the running!

          • Nice! My sweetie gave me the one of the dog with an octopus on its head. Crazy, funny, vibrant. It makes me happy every time I look at it. I’m pretty sure Tana has some prints of it by now too.

            I’m pretty envious of your gift certificate-fueled shopping spree at Bohemia. What a wonderfully good time for the two of you!

            And, mmmmmmm La Estrella…making me hungry.

  18. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!!!

    What a small world! The Tryst is playing our wedding Oct. 15th in Mesa. FH recorded one of the songs for their new CD and we love those beautiful people! What a fabulous choice for your special song.

    One of your artists (Mel Dominguez) is a close friend and will be live painting at our wedding as well. Love the Tucson vibe and how you tied it all together!

    Congrats on an amazing wedding!

    • Are you going to be at the cd release party at The Hut next Saturday? Should be a great time. Also, Bohemia is hosting a Piece of Peace silent auction this Saturday – Mel has donated one of her pieces. We’ll be at both events.

  19. I LOVE this wedding. The two of you wonderfully incorporated yourselves into the whole affair. I am impressed and inspired.

  20. Wine and art = Genius! Kim I’m so pleased for you and Bix! I followed your wedding the whole way and I think it’s a great tribute to your hard work to see your wedding featured! I love how supportive you have been of all the tribe, especially when you clearly had a tough time of things during your planning. Thank you for sharing all of your love and advice, the tribe is lucky to have you and Bix is even luckier! I’m so happy for you both! xoxoxo

    Congratulations and best wishes from Adam and Marina

    • I so hope you are going to submit your wedding — it was all kinds of amazing. And I so appreciated your kind words of support during the planning proces. It meant a lot to me when things were getting tough.

  21. Oh, yay! Like many people have said, I was excited to see this wedding featured on here. My heart was with you through so much of what you were going through and I’m so glad to see that it all turned out beautifully. You’ve really got it together lady! ..and also so glad that there was such a sweet way to honor Bix’s mom at the reception.

    • Thanks Maureen! Just realized that you got married on the same day that Bix proposed to me – so almost date twins!

  22. This is awesome! Kim and Bix, you look just wonderful, and I can feel your love radiating all the way through my computer screen. 🙂
    You do, indeed, look radiant and beautiful!

    Bix, I’m so sorry about your Mum. However, including her song in your wedding was such a beautiful and fitting tribute. I’m sure she’d have been very proud of you both- and was there in spirit. 🙂

    I wish you all the best for the years ahead. 🙂

    • Thanks Ezza! Bix’s nephew said it best when he said that Grandpa and Nana were dancing together and watching our wedding from afar. We certainly felt them with us in spirit.

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